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Edmund Bayley pharmaceutical recipe book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Edmund Bayley was a chemist who lived in London, England during the mid-nineteenth century. Not much is known about Bayley's life outside what can be gleaned from land tax lists and city directories. Between 1839 and 1870 he listed his profession as "chemist," and specifically "family chemist" based on a 1860s letterhead found in this volume. Despite working in the same area of London, he changed address at least four times between 1834 and 1870.

Bayley appears to have been a proficient chemist, with a wide variety of remedies ranging from medical, to cosmetic, to veterinary in scope. He was an active professional during a time of increasing demand for regularization of training, licensing, and practicing the profession of pharmacy. In 1841, the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain was founded and by the "mid 1800s, the English chemist and druggist were well-established professionals, defined by their work in a wholesale and resale capacity, and catering to a population before, instead of, or in addition to the intervention of a GP," (Harvard University).

Based upon a presentation note in the volume, Bayley was deceased in 1872 and his recipes were presented by Miss [Bowle] (Miss Boal), Bayley's executrix, to I. Weir, who was conducting business for the estate.

Harvard University. Center for the History of Medicine at Countway Library. Jars of "Art and Mystery": Pharmacists and their Tools in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: Apothecaries from the Eighteenth Century Onward: England

This volume, entitled "Edm. Bayley Process Book," contains 383 numbered recipes for remedies, as well as seven unnumbered recipes. Pages 3 to 5 contain an index for 169 remedies. The recipes are written in the same hand and, for the most part, contain only ingredients; on rare occasions, there are instructions for preparations, and on even rarer occasions, instructions for use. Many of the recipes are in a mixture of English and Latin and abbreviations are used heavily. On the first page, in a different hand is written: "Presented by Miss [Bowles] (Miss Boal) Executrix to E. Bayley, to I. Weir during his conducting the business for the estate, London, Dec. 1872."

These neatly penned recipes include remedies for medical conditions and veterinary conditions, as well as some cosmetic and personal care products and household recipes. A large majority of the recipes include abbreviations that make it difficult for a layman to be certain of the purpose of the remedy, but some, such as "Syr Papv. Alb." may contain enough recognizable information that assumptions may be made. Other names of remedies are a bit more defined; but not necessarily indicative of usage, such as "drink pro staggers" (two recipes), fulminating balls, and worm cakes.

Examples of remedies for medical conditions include breast ointment, cholic [sic] draught, Clarke's celebrated antibilious pills, Daffy's elixir, Dalby's Carminative, "for gout, rheumatism, & chilblains," gangrene oils, heel ointment, James's Anaseptic [sic] Pills, jaundice mixture, [Labrow] itch ointment, lotion for burns, tincture digitalis, unguent for cracked heels, and unguent and lotions for piles. Examples of veterinary remedies include blister for horses, drinks for flux in a cow, drink to make a cow clean, pulvis equinus (horse powder), and sheep wash. In addition to the medical recipes, there are also recipes for cosmetics and personal care products, including, but not limited to: bathing spirits, cold cream, citrus and floral waters, eau de cologne, Imperial German Dentifrice, pickled roses, Princess Wales's dent[ifrice], tooth paste, violet dentifrice, and violet powder. Finally there are a few household recipes for amber varnish, blacking paste, camphor wash balls, cloth powder, "for boot tops," furniture gloss, oil, and paste, lacquer, liquid for stains in furniture, red ink, and wash balls.

This volume provides a glimpse into the world of a 19th century chemist and the community of London which he served.

Sold by Dean Cooke Rare Books, Ltd., 2020.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Holly Mengel
Finding Aid Date
2022 November 3
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"Edm. Bayley Process Book", circa 1830s-1872.
Volume 1

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